Monday, October 10, 2011

Class 11: 09/29/11-Big "P" v. Little "p"-Rivet&Krajcik 2004

“It breaks your heart.  It is designed to break your heart.  The game begins in spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.”  ~A. Bartlett Giamatti

Dr. Petrosino is a big sports fan and last night was a big night in baseball. Four key games meant the whole season to some teams.  Tampa Bay Rays down 7 - 0 and then in the last minutes of the game, they won.  This unsuspecting turn around shows the importance of perseverance, a great reminder before we go to our practice teach. 

Dr. Petrosino next addresses comments about the class submitted by students, specifically comments concerning how the class needs to have better organization of time during lectures.  The class discussed these comments and Dr. Petrosino explained that he will do his best to keep this feedback in mind during future planning.
For today’s class, we read “Achieving standards in urban systemic reform: An example of a sixth grade project-based science curriculum.” (Rivet & Krajcik, 2004)
Dr. Ann Rivit  is a professor at Teachers College, Columbia University.  Her research focuses on PBI, science reform, content area literacy.  Dr. Joe Krajcik is a professor at Michigan State University.  He won a prestigious science education award. His background is in chemistry.  He was the graduate advisor of Anne Rivet and our very own Dr. Cesar Delgado!

The following PBI Science Features are given in the presentation:
Active Construction (refers to engaging students with a  the task in thought-demanding ways such as explaining, gathering evidence, generalizing, representing, and applying ideas)
Situated Cognition (students make meaning through interaction with the world and their interpretation)
Community of Practitioners (students learn ways of knowing, what counts as evidence, how ideas are shared within the culture of the discipline)
Discourse (Participation brings students into the language of the community of practice)
Cognitive Tools (extend what students can do and learn in that they provide opportunities for students to visualize and explore phenomena that would not otherwise be possible in classrooms through manipulating multiple dynamic representations).  Students can report findings, gather, analyzing, and interpreting information and data.  Also discussed is the importance of providing opportunities for students to construct knowledge through designing and constructing investigations or drawing conclusions.

Dr. Petrosino goes on to discuss Big “P” v. Little “P”  He gives the example, that a local New Technology Network school, Manor New Tech High School, is mostly using Big “P” on their campus.  Big “P” incorporates ALL of the aspects of the PBI Science Features, (listed above). This is no easy task to achieve, however, good project based instructors will incorporate as much as they can, in a fashion that is most comfortable and effective for them.
Little “P” on the other hand can be fun, entertaining, and hands on, but are usually done at the end of instruction as a summative assignment, and often do not meet the requirements listed above.  Many of us have only experience Little “p” in our schooling. 
The study done by Rivet and Krajcik (2004) consisted of 24 teachers that taught over 2,500 students in Detroit over a 4 year period.  The purpose of this research was to address science learning goals of balanced and unbalanced forces, simple and complex machines, and mechanical advantage.  Achievement outcomes as measured by pre/post test, show significant and consistently high learning gains, even as participation in the project include greater numbers of teachers and students in successive enactments, and leadership of the professional development support for this project transitioned from university researchers to district teacher leaders.
These results illustrate that materials that contextualize learning and support student inquiry as part of an urban systematic reform effort can promote learning of important and meaningful science content aligned with standards. 
The rest of class was spent working with our teaching teams on our rough drafts for Lesson Plans due in the evening.
 Each day in PBI different student(s) takes responsibility for blogging about what goes on in class.  Today’s blog is brought to you through the collaboration of Claire, Lauren, and our TA Tara.

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